Question 73. Why then doth the Holy Ghost call baptism "the
washing of regeneration," and "the washing away of sins"?
God speaks thus not without great cause, to-wit, not only thereby to
teach us, that as the filth of the body is purged away by water, so our
sins are [c] removed by the blood and Spirit of
Jesus Christ; but especially that by [d] this divine
pledge and sign he may assure us, that we are spiritually cleansed from
our sins as really, as we are externally washed with water.
Yes: for since they, as well as the adult, are included in the [e]
covenant and [f] church of God; and since [g]
redemption from sin by the blood of Christ, and the [h]
Holy Ghost, the author of faith, is promised to them no less than to the
adult; they must therefore by baptism, as a sign of the covenant, be also
admitted into the christian church; and be distinguished [i]
from the children of unbelievers as was done in the old covenant or testament
by [j] circumcision, instead of which [k]
baptism is instituted in the new covenant.
3:11 [b]: 1John
6:11 [c]: Rev.
6:11 [d]: Mark
3:27 [e]: Gen.
2:39 [f]: 1Cor.
2:16 [g]: Mat.
19:14 [h]: Luke
2:39 [i]: Acts
7:14 [j]: Gen.
17:14 [k]: Col.
of the Holy Supper of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Question 75. How are thou admonished and assured in the Lord’s
Supper, that thou are a partaker of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished
on the cross, and of all his benefits?
Thus: That Christ has commanded me and all believers, to eat of this broken
bread, and to drink of this cup, in remembrance of him, [a]
adding these promises: first, that his body was offered and broken on the
cross for me, and his blood shed for me, as certainly as I see with my eyes,
the bread of the Lord broken for me, and the cup communicated to me; and
further, that he feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, with his
crucified body and shed blood, as assuredly as I receive from the hands
of the minister, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord,
as certain signs of the body and blood of Christ.
It is only to embrace with a believing heart all the sufferings and death
of Christ, and thereby to [b] obtain the pardon
of sin, and life eternal; but also, besides that, to become more and more
[c] united to his sacred body, by the Holy Ghost,
who dwells both in Christ and in us; [d] so that
we, though Christ is in heaven and we on earth, are notwithstanding "Flesh
of his flesh, and bone [e] of his bone"; and
that we live, [f] and are governed forever by one
spirit, as members of the same body are by one soul.
Question 77. Where has Christ promised that he will as certainly
feed and nourish believers with his body and blood, as they eat of this
broken bread, and drink of this cup?
In the institution of the supper, which is thus expressed: [g]
"The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread,
and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said: eat, this is my body,
which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner
also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying: this [h]
cup is the new testament in my blood; [i] this
do ye, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For, as often as ye
eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he
come." This promise is repeated by the holy apostle Paul, where he
says: [j] "The cup of blessing which we bless,
is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break,
is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, being many, are one
bread and one body; because we are all partakers of that one bread."
11:23,24,25 [b]: John
6:35,40,47,48,50,51,53,54 [c]: John
6:55,56 [d]: Acts
11:26 [e]: Eph.
3:24 [f]: John
4:15,16 [g]: 1Cor.
22:19 [h]: Ex.
9:20 [i]: Ex.
11:26 [j]: 1Cor.
Not at all: [a] but as the water in baptism is not
changed into the blood of Christ, neither is the washing away of sin itself,
being only the sign and confirmation thereof appointed of God; so the bread
in the Lord’s supper is not changed into the very [b]
body of Christ; though agreeable to the [c] nature
and properties of sacraments, it is called the body of Christ Jesus.
Question 79. Why then doth Christ call the bread his body, and
the cup his blood, or the new covenant in his blood; and Paul the "communion
of the body and blood of Christ"?
Christ speaks thus, not without great reason, namely, not only thereby
to teach us, that as bread and wine support this temporal life, so his crucified
body and shed blood are the true meat and drink, whereby our souls are [d]
fed to eternal life; but more especially by these visible signs and pledges
to assure us, that we are as really partakers of his true body and blood
(by the operation of the Holy Ghost) as we [e] receive
by the mouths of our bodies these holy signs in remembrance of him; and
that all his sufferings [f] and obedience are as
certainly ours, as if we had in our own persons suffered and made satisfaction
for our sins to God.
6:35,62,63 [b]: 1Cor.
11:20ff [c]: Gen.17:10,11,14;
14:24 [d]: John
5:30 [f]: Rom.
The Lord’s supper testifies to us, that we have a full pardon of all
sin [a] by the only sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which
he himself has once accomplished on the cross; and, that we by the Holy
Ghost are ingrafted [b] into Christ, who, according
to his human nature is now not on earth, but in [c]
heaven, at the right hand of God his Father, and will there [d]
be worshipped by us: – but the mass teaches, that the living and dead have
not the pardon of sins though the sufferings of Christ, unless Christ is
also daily offered for them by the priests; and further, that Christ is
bodily under the form of bread and wine, and therefore is to be worshipped
in them; so that the mass, as bottom, is nothing else than a [e]
denial of the one sacrifice and sufferings of Jesus Christ, and an accursed
For those who are truly sorrowful [g] for their sins,
and yet that these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ; and that their
remaining infirmities [h] are covered by his passion
and death; and who also earnestly [i] desire to have
their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives more holy; but hypocrites,
and such as turn not to God with sincere hearts, eat and [j]
drink judgment to themselves.
Question 82. Are they also to be admitted to this supper, who,
by confession and life, declare themselves unbelieving and ungodly?
No; for by this, the covenant of God would be profaned, and his wrath [k]
kindled against the whole congregation; therefore it is the duty of the
christian church, according to the appointment of [l]
Christ and his apostles, to exclude such persons, by the keys of the kingdom
of heaven, till they show amendment of life.
5:21 [b]: 1Cor.
8:1ff [d]: John
7:55 [e]: Isa.
2:13 [g]: Mat.
103:3 [i]: Psa.
2:11,12 [j]: 1Cor.
50:15,16 [k]: 1Cor.
50:16,22 [l]: Mat.
Question 83. What are [a] the keys of the
kingdom of heaven?
The preaching [b] of the holy gospel, and christian
discipline, [c] or excommunication out of the christian
church; by these two, the kingdom of heaven is opened to believers, and
shut against unbelievers.
Thus: when according to the command of [d] Christ,
it is declared and publicly testified to all and every believer, that, whenever
they [e] receive the promise of the gospel by a true
faith, all their sins are really forgiven them of God, for the sake of Christ’s
merits; and on the contrary, when it is declared and testified to all unbelievers,
and such as do not sincerely repent, that they stand exposed to the wrath
of God, and eternal [f] condemnation, so long as
they are [g] unconverted: according to which testimony
of the gospel, God will judge them, both in this, and in the life to come.
Thus: when according [h] to the command of Christ,
those, who under the name of christians, maintain doctrines, or practices
[i] inconsistent therewith, and will not, after having
been often brotherly admonished, renounce their errors and wicked course
of life, are complained of to the church, [j] or
to those, who are thereunto [k] appointed by the
church; and if they despise their admonition, [l]
are by them forbidden the use of the sacraments; whereby they are excluded
from the christian church, and by God himself from the kingdom of Christ;
and when they promise and show real amendment, are again [m]
received as members of Christ and his church.
16:19 [b]: John
20:23 [c]: Mat.
18:15,16,17,18 [d]: Mat.
28:19 [e]: John
16:16 [f]: 2Thes.
1:7,8,9 [g]: John
2:2,13-17 [h]: Mat.
18:15 [i]: Cor.
5:12 [j]: Mat.
18:15-18 [k]: Rom.
3:14 [l]: Mat.
5:3,4,5 [m]: 2Cor.
3 – of Thankfulness
Question 86. Since then we are delivered from our misery, merely
of grace, through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we still
do good works?
Because Christ, having redeemed and delivered us by his blood, also renews
us by his Holy Spirit, after his own image; that so we may testify, by the
whole of our conduct, our gratitude [a] to God for
his blessings, and that he may be [b] praised by
us; also, that every one may be [c] assured in himself
of his faith, by the fruits thereof; and that, by our godly conversation,
others may be [d] gained to Christ.
Question 87. Cannot they then be saved, who, continuing in their
wicked and ungrateful lives, are not converted to God?
By no means; for the holy scripture declares [e]
that no unchaste person, idolater, adulterer, thief, covetous man, drunkard,
slanderer, robber, or any such like, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
2:5,9,10 [b]: Mat.
2:12 [c]: 2Pet.
5:6,24 [d]: 1Pet.
14:19 [e]: 1Cor.
Of two parts; of [a] the mortification of the old,
and the quickening of the new man.
It is a [b] sincere sorrow of heart, that we have
provoked God by our sins; and more and more to hate and flee from them.
Only those which proceed from a true [e] faith,
are performed according to the [f] law of God,
and to his [g] glory; and not such as are [h]
founded on our imaginations, or the institutions of men.
5:7 [b]: Psa.
1:12,13 [c]: Rom.
57:15 [d]: Rom.
2:20 [e]: Rom.
14:23 [f]: 1Sam.
2:2,10 [g]: 1Cor.
10:31 [h]: Deut.
shalt have no other gods before me.
shalt not make unto thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any
thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water
under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor serve them; for
I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the
fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them
that hate me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me,
and keep my commandments.
shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will
not hold him guiltless, that taketh his name in vain.
the Sabbath day, to keep it holy; six days shalt thou labor and do all
thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in
it thou shalt do no manner of work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter,
thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger
that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore
the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
thy father and they mother, that thy days may be long in the land which
the Lord they God giveth thee.
shalt not kill.
shalt not commit adultery.
shalt not steal.
shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s
wife, nor his man servant, nor his maid servant, nor his ox, nor his
ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.
That I, as sincerely as I desire the salvation of my own soul, avoid and
flee from all idolatry, [c] sorcery, [d]
soothsaying, superstition, [e] invocation of saints,
or any other creatures; and learn [f] rightly to
know the only true God; [g] trust in him alone,
with humility [h] and patience [i]
submit to him; [j] expect all good things from him
only; [k] love, [l] fear,
and [m] glorify him with my whole heart; so that
I renounce [n] and forsake all creatures, rather
than [o] commit even the least thing contrary to
Idolatry is, instead of, or besides that one true God, who has manifested
himself in his word, to contrive, or have any other object, in which men
place their trust. [p]
34:28,29 [b]: Deut.
10:3,4 [c]: 1Cor.
10:7,14 [d]: Lev.
18:10,11,12 [e]: Mat.
19:10 [f]: John
17:3 [g]: Jer.
17:5,7 [h]: Heb.
2:14 [i]: 1Pet.
5:5,6 [j]: Psa.
1:17 [k]: Deut.
10:28 [m]: Mat.
4:10 [n]: Mat.
10:37 [o]: Mat.
5:19 [p]: 2Chron.
God neither can, nor [c] may be represented by any
means: but as to creatures; though they may be represented, yet God forbids
to make, or have any resemblance of them, either in order to worship them
[d] or to serve God by them.
17:29 [b]: 1Sam.
12:30 [c]: Deut.
1:23 [d]: Ex.
7:5 [e]: 2Tim.
1:19 [f]: Jer.
That we, not only by cursing or [a] perjury, but
also by [b] rash swearing, must not profane or abuse
the name of [c] God; nor by silence or connivance
be partakers of these horrible sins in others; and, briefly, that we use
the holy name of God no otherwise than with fear and reverence; so that
he may be rightly [d] confessed and [e]
worshipped by us, and be glorified in all our words and works.
Question 100. Is then the profaning of God’s name, by swearing
and cursing, so heinous a sin, that his wrath is kindled against those
who do not endeavor, as much as in them lies, to prevent and forbid such
cursing and swearing?
Yes: either when the magistrates demand it of the subjects; or when necessity
requires us thereby to confirm [a] fidelity and
truth to the glory of God, and the safety of our neighbor: for such an oath
is [b] founded on God’s word, and therefore was
justly [c] used by the saints, both in the Old
and New Testament.
No; for a lawful oath is calling upon God, as the only one who knows the
heart, that he will bear witness to the truth, and punish me if I swear
[d] falsely; which honor is [e]
due to no creature.
First, that the ministry of the gospel and the schools be [a]
maintained; and that I, especially on the sabbath, [b]
that is, on the day of rest, [c] diligently frequent
[d] the church of God, to hear his word, to use
the sacraments, [e] publicly to call upon the
Lord, and contribute to the relief of the [f]
poor, as becomes a christian. Secondly, that all the days of my life I cease
from my evil works, and yield myself to the Lord, to work by his Holy Spirit
in me: and thus [g] begin in this life the eternal
That I show all honor, love and fidelity, to my father and mother, and all
in authority over me, and [a] submit myself to their
good instruction and correction, with due obedience; and also patiently
bear with their [b] weaknesses and infirmities,
since it pleases [c] God to govern us by their hand.